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We all need to learn how to manage anxiety and stress because we all experience it. Whether it’s being overwhelmed at work, dealing with a personal problem, or worrying about financial obligations, stress affects us in various ways, both physically and emotionally, and in varying intensities.

Chronic stress can lead to health problems, that’s why proper management is a must. Engaging in activities that support self-care is very important. A few simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing and treating anxiety and stress, leading to a healthier and happier you.

how to manage anxiety and stress

How to Deal With Anxiety and Stress

As mentioned, we all experience anxiety and stress in our daily life. It’s up to us how we handle it – whether we let the negative feelings win or take proactive steps to stay on top of them. Here’s how to reduce anxiety and stress effectively:

Start Eating Healthy

Your diet and food choices greatly impact every aspect of your health, including mental health. If you follow an unhealthy diet, the more likely you’ll develop deficiencies in nutrients, such as Vitamin B and magnesium, which are essential for regulating your mood and stress.  According to the National Library of Medicine, those who regularly consume high-sugar and ultra-processed foods are more likely to experience higher stress levels.

Aim to eat a balanced diet daily to make sure that your body is properly nourished, making you more resilient to stress. Include more fruits, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds to your daily meals, and don’t forget to properly hydrate, too!

Exercise

Physical activity is a proven way to improve mood and reduce your stress levels. A recent study found that being sedentary is directly related to poor mental health. Another study, which was performed on almost 200 university students, found that doing aerobic exercise at least twice a week significantly reduced overall perceived stress and self-reported depression.

So if you’re physically inactive, now would be a great time to get your body moving! You don’t have to go through rigorous gym sessions – even a 15-minute walk outside or a few light exercises daily would suffice. Choose a physical activity that you enjoy so you can stick to it longer!

When you become physically tired, getting a relaxing massage is an effective way to soothe your muscles and calm the mind!

Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

Coffee, when consumed in moderation, provides great benefits for the body. However, drinking too much may cause some negative effects. A study shows that overconsumption of caffeine may worsen anxiety symptoms and even harm your sleep. The lack of good, quality sleep, in turn, increases symptoms of anxiety and stress.

It’s ideal to limit your caffeine intake, especially if you find that it makes you jittery or anxious. Consider switching to non-caffeinated beverages like herbal tea, fresh fruit juices, or water.

Minimize Your Screen Time

Another thing you can do to manage anxiety and stress is to minimize the time you spend on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. Not only is excessive screen time associated with developmental delays in children, but it’s also linked to increased stress levels and mental health disorders. Too much screen time also negatively affects sleeping patterns, which increases anxiety and stress.

Practice Self-Care

It’s essential that you take time for yourself in the middle of or after a busy day. Setting aside time to do some self-care activities can help you relax, ground yourself, and reduce anxiety and stress. According to a recent study, individuals who engage in self-care experience lower levels of stress and improved quality of life, with reduced risk of burnout.

Allotting time for simple activities such as reading a good book, enjoying a long bath, following a skincare routine, playing with your pets, spending time in the sun, and practicing mindfulness are just a few things you can try.

Stay On Top Of Your Priorities

One of the biggest causes of anxiety and stress is being overwhelmed by the numerous tasks, deadlines, and commitments we have in our daily life. If we stay on top of all the things we have to do, we are able to regain a sense of control over them and make them more manageable.

Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, or productivity apps to stay organized and check your progress. Be sure to schedule breaks in between to give yourself time to breathe and compose yourself. 

Focus On Your Hobbies and Interests

When you’re feeling down, an effective way to lift your spirits is to do the things you enjoy and are interested in. Allotting time for your hobbies and interests can be a powerful way to reduce stress and enhance your overall well-being. Whether it’s baking, gardening, camping, or playing a sport, engaging in your passion can help boost your self-confidence, increase happiness, and reduce levels of anxiety and stress.

Spend Time in Nature

Spending time outside and in nature is a healthy way to manage anxiety and stress. A recent study revealed that spending as little as 10 minutes in nature such as a garden or the beach helps improve psychological and physiological markers of mental well-being, including stress and anxiety.

Visit a beach, go on a quick hike, or simply spend time at a park and breathe in the fresh air and it will instantly make you feel better!

Nourish Your Relationships

Spending time and connecting with the people you love is a great stress-buster. Whether it’s through meaningful conversations, shared experiences, or quality time spent together, having strong bonds with the people around you gives you a sense of belonging and gives you a solid support system that you need through times of distress.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about being aware of the present moment. As a result, you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your experiences, which leads to greater clarity, emotional resilience, and a sense of inner peace in your daily life.

Deep breathing, engaging in mindful conversation, and writing in a gratitude journal are all excellent ways to practice mindfulness, which can help combat anxiety and stress.

Conclusion

Chronic anxiety and stress can lead to many physical and mental health problems. Fortunately, there are as many ways to reduce these negative feelings – just a few simple changes in your diet, habits, and lifestyle can go a long way!